I have recently been exposed to more unpublished writings than ever before. Mostly just to read, but occasionally, I have the honour of helping with some general critique and edit work. I find that writing (and probably other arts too) is problematic because as a writer, you need to be confident about your own work, find your voice, protect your voice, but at the same time, respect other writers and their voices.
I find that the most difficult thing for me to do is to appreciate other writings that are not immediately in the genre or style that I enjoy. This is where I am grateful for what I learnt on my MA, even if it is just to take apart a piece of work. It helps me desensitise the piece and remove the individual from it, which in turn allows me to appreciate the skill it took to put it together in the first place, whilst being aware of (but not bothered about) its flaws.
How does this make me feel about my own writing? Am I able to objectively edit my own work? I think to a point, yes. Surprisingly, I still really enjoy rereading my own work (egotistical as it may sound), especially my short stories. My novels are harder work, though I am slowly getting better at appreciating and working through them.
I’m still trying to find a balance in reading, writing and editing, but I can feel that I’m getting closer to a comfortable rhythm.